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New York Times, Friday, June 22, 2018

Author:
Andrew Kingsley
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
144/29/20162/16/20193
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0113054
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56010
Andrew Kingsley

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Kingsley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Andrew Kingsley notes:
This puzzle went through two other iterations. Ironically, the seed entry LHOOQ (the Marcel Duchamp work of Mona Lisa with a mustache) ... read more

This puzzle went through two other iterations. Ironically, the seed entry LHOOQ (the Marcel Duchamp work of Mona Lisa with a mustache) got the first puzzle rejected. As themeless revisions often go, I had to scrap the entire puzzle. Well, not the entire puzzle. I kept HOMOEROTIC. You can't kill all your darlings.

Speaking of darlings, Boswords is back! Last year, John Lieb and I ran a Boston crossword tournament to great success, and we're gearing up for round two this year. So, if you are around on July 29, come on down. All the tournament information can be found at boswords.org. Hope to see some of you there! And if you can't attend, you can also order all of the tournament puzzles from the website and enjoy from home.

Jeff Chen notes:
This grid exhibits a curious property for themelesses – more of the long answers are going in the down direction than the ... read more

This grid exhibits a curious property for themelesses – more of the long answers are going in the down direction than the across. Usually, constructors try to orient all their feature stuff horizontally, since Americans are more used to reading left to right, compared to up to down (not so in other parts of the world!) My impression after solving was that there weren't many long feature entries at all, but that's not correct – there are a solid 12 entries of 8+ letters! Huh.

A little secret: any grid can be "flipped" about a diagonal axis from the NW to the SE (see right). All the entries are the same, simply presented in a different format. But what a difference presentation makes. The grid to the right looks so much more like a regular themeless to me, packed chock full of long goodness. I'M INNOCENT, VIDEO GAMES, TELEPROMPTER, PURPLE STATES, STARGAZING – so much that I'd be TANTALIZED!

Either way though, the grid has too much crossword glue for me to consider it for POW! contention: SYST RIAA TOLET AIRE IMET ATT is way over today's (very high) standards for a 70-word themeless. If that count gets above three or four, it doesn't feel elegant to me. It's possibly passable if all the glue makes amazing things happen, but that wasn't the case today.

Some amazing clues, though:

  • [Brit discussing American politics] could be any Brit, yeah? In this case, it's Brit HUME, the American journalist. So many misdirects there!
  • A WRIST is something to (literally) keep a watch on.
  • Along that same literal path, LIZARDS are [Cold-blooded sorts], all right.

It's a shame. I think if the presentation had just been flipped, this one would have struck me more strongly.

1
W
2
R
3
I
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S
5
T
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P
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A
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R
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M
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A
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V
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D
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H
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M
O
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R
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C
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A
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P
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P
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F
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S
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A
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A
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L
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D
E
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G
O
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B
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C
A
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P
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L
A
C
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U
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A
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M
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I
D
A
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L
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S
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A
L
F
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E
V
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N
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T
A
G
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T
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O
L
E
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S
Y
S
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L
A
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P
E
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K
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A
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L
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S
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H
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L
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A
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L
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A
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K
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G
O
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G
L
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A
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D
G
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64
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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0622 ( 25,063 )
Across
1
Something to keep a watch on : WRIST
6
Veal or chicken dish, for short : PARM
10
Hard-core : AVID
14
Like much of Shakespeare's and Sappho's love poetry : HOMOEROTIC
16
Show of hands? : TIME
17
Utopian : IDEALISTIC
18
Actress Sedgwick in Warhol films : EDIE
19
Fall back : RETREAT
20
Wise : SAPIENT
22
What drivers try not to go over : PAR
23
Guest's sleeping spot, maybe : FUTON
24
Peter or Paul, but not Mary : TSAR
27
Wood used to make electric guitars : ALDER
30
Hunk : GOB
32
Sine, cosine or tangent : RATIO
33
What Christine is in the book "Christine" : CAR
34
Medal, e.g. : PLACE
36
Take heat from? : UNARM
37
Polish-language film that won a 2014 Oscar : IDA
38
Margarita garnishes : LIMES
39
Ailment spreadable through kissing : STREP
40
TV character with a rippled snout : ALF
41
Facebook calendar addition : EVENT
42
Facebook photo addition : TAG
43
Ready for renting : TOLET
45
Part of CBS: Abbr. : SYST
46
Boutonniere's spot : LAPEL
48
"2 Broke Girls" actress Dennings : KAT
50
Cold-blooded sorts : LIZARDS
52
Behind the eight ball : INAHOLE
57
Action film weapons : UZIS
58
Lacking hormones, say : ALLNATURAL
60
King Lear's loyal servant : KENT
61
Service with a Street View option : GOOGLEMAPS
62
Lip : EDGE
63
They're of little use unless they're cracked : EGGS
64
Horse ___ : SENSE
Down
1
Fan sound : WHIR
2
Heckled : RODE
3
"___ her in a club down in old Soho" (opening lyric of "Lola") : IMET
4
Not just increase : SOAR
5
Orator's aid : TELEPROMPTER
6
Like a society in which people are said to be colorblind : POSTRACIAL
7
Many a role on TV's "Suits": Abbr. : ATT
8
Pioneering photojournalist Jacob : RIIS
9
Big espresso purveyor since 2001 : MCCAFE
10
Wiped out : ATEIT
11
Subject of some parental restrictions : VIDEOGAMES
12
"Hey, don't look at me!" : IMINNOCENT
13
Trademarked repellent : DEET
15
Pirate-fighting org. : RIAA
21
They can swing left or right : PURPLESTATES
24
Dangled a carrot in front of : TANTALIZED
25
Some late-night viewing : STARGAZING
26
Suffix for the 1% : AIRE
28
Consommé server : LADLE
29
Fantasy sports site : DRAFTKINGS
31
Sunday ___ : BEST
32
Lack of practice, metaphorically : RUST
35
Writer on the history of Rome : LIVY
44
Senescence : OLDAGE
47
Ctrl+V command : PASTE
49
Beyond stuffy : ANAL
50
Longest book in the New Testament : LUKE
51
Tough going : SLOG
53
Brit discussing American politics : HUME
54
Algerian city where Camus's "The Plague" is set : ORAN
55
Passes, in a way : LAPS
56
Something ___ : ELSE
59
Record : LOG

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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